Day 53: Definitely a White Christmas

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Win tickets for you and a guest to the Race to the Pole Welcome Home Reception at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace on the 16th of February 2012! All you have to do is make a donation via the page to enter our prize draw. There are two tickets (plus a guest each) up for grabs – the winners will be announced on January 20th 2012.



Distance to the Pole (straight line): 187 nmi
Total distance travelled: 511 nmi



In Association with the Royal British Legion

We can be pretty sure that Team Amundsen (and, of course, Team Scott) have been blessed with a white Christmas, settling the bet between Henry and Lou. Not a bad punt from Lou! Henry does his best Santa Claus impression (he has the beard, after all) and treats Lou to beans, bacon and sausages in tomato sauce – yummy. There’s a Christmas Day phone call to the Scott team, allowing Henry to guess their approximate whereabouts. Not wishing to complain too much, Henry describes their day as a “shocker”, but they’ve much to be pleased about with their 14.2 nautical miles.  

Before handing the satphone over to Lou, Henry ends his report with Christmas wishes to the three most important people in his life – his wife Joanna and two children, Max and Alicia – with possibly the most beautiful of quotes from Amundsen’s diary (your dutiful webmaster is a little choked up!). 

Lou then delivers his Christmas wishes to his family and loved ones.

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Please keep pressing the ‘play’ button to advance to the next slide of the presentation.


Distance to the Pole (straight line): 302 nmi*
Total distance travelled: 468.9 nmi*
*No progress – tentbound


Vic Vicary delivers the main Christmas Day report for Team Scott (with an extra special Christmas treat saved for a separate message). The guys are tentbound for another day as the weather continues to make the going too hazardous. They have however managed to get out for a reccy, and they’re hopeful that they’ll be able to make some good progress soon, especially after receiving a good weather report. Vic also wishes his family and supports a very happy Christmas! 

All you lucky listeners, get ready for a Christmas treat from Mark, Vic and Kev – a little ditty no less! Readers, I tell you, a host of golden Angels now inhabits the Scott tent. Prepare your ears for tones the likes of which you never did hear.

Can’t see the audio player? Download the audio as an MP3
(Click to open directly or right-click and choose “save target or “save link as”)

Can’t see the audio player? Download the audio as an MP3
(Click to open directly or right-click and choose “save target or “save link as”)



We give voice to the loved ones of our intrepid adventurers. This week, it’s the turn if Mark’s father Ken and his wife Jude:

Hi Mark,

We are sitting here on the Costa Blanca thinking of you in the Big White of Antarctica as you steadily make your way into history. I am not surprised that you should choose such an amazingly difficult challenge as to literally follow in Scott`s footsteps. I recognised your rugged determination when you were a small boy at St Lukes (now Sandcross) Junior School in Reigate. To say that we are proud of you is an understatement. You are an inspiration to many.

You will try to finish first I know, but first just try to finish.

With all our love and admiration

Dad and Judy xxx

If you’re a family member or close friend, and would like to send your message out to all the readers, please do email Andrew Gough (webmaster) at


Part 1: ‘Shanks’ Pony vs. Shaggy Dogs’

A series of reflections on Antarctic travels past and present, by Peter Otway. In the early 1960s, Peter surveyed much of the areas through which our teams are now passing. In this, Part 1, Peter compares the use of dogs with manhauling.

“As I have followed Teams Scott and Amundsen on their long slog across the featureless Ross Ice Shelf and now, heaving their way up two very different but equally treacherous glaciers leading to the South Pole, it has taken me back half a century to the days I was in a team exploring and mapping much of the same terrain as part of the New Zealand geological and survey mapping programme with Brit Wally Herbert as our experienced and inspirational leader. Perhaps more than most, I have felt their highs and lows as they battle every obstacle and hardship the Antarctic can throw in their path, and their dogged determination to achieve their goal whatever the odds.”

Click here to read Part 1 of Peter Otway’s Reflections in full


Keep track of both teams with our interactive Google Earth map. Zoom in to see each day’s progress, with the position marked by pictures of team leaders Henry Worsley and Mark Langridge. Click on the icon to see that day’s sitrep in full.

View SACR in a larger map

A Special Message to all Schools

The three schools that raise the most funds for the Scott-Amundsen Race and the Royal British Legion will be rewarded with a visit from the Scott team! Mark, Vic and Kev will give a full presentation during their visit, with slides, videos, images, in short, the full works.

Schools wishing to donate should do so via the page. Enter the name of your school when donating, and email Andy the webmaster to make sure we register your donation.

We’d also like to invite all the schools that are following the progress to contact the webmaster, so that you can be mentioned on a new “Scott-Amundsen Schools” page. Please include a very short text on your school and any SACR-related activities, especially fundraising efforts! We’ll list your school plus a link to your website.



  1. Luka & Neve Johnson on December 26, 2011 at 8:25 am said:

    To Daddy, We wish you a Merry Christmas. We hope Father Christmas came to you. Angels fly by(?!). Hope you have a lovely day at the South Pole. I want to see you soon Daddy. Love you lots Daddy, from Luka and Neve

    (All in the words of Luka May Johnson)

  2. Hannah Johnson on December 26, 2011 at 8:19 am said:

    Happy Christmas to all the boys. So glad that you have got this far and are all safe and well and continue to be an inspiration every day. So proud but so, so much more x Good effort Team Scott on your 7 Days of Christmas rendition. Concurrent activity at all times! Think we need to get Gareth Malone onto this. Watch this space…

    Sending so much love to my darling husband, Mark, Vic, Lou. Keep safe and hurry home, Hannah xxx

  3. Wendi Langridge on December 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm said:


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